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tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  June 28, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT

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>> curry says she will continue to report for nbc. last week reports surfaced that curry was being pushed out of her role as co-anchor, this after rival "good morning america" recently beat "today" show in the ratings for the first time in nearly 16 years. all right, rolling to the top of the hour, i'm brooke baldwin. a huge historic day of news. before we get to the supreme court's ruling on health care, one that will impact all of us americans, a quick, live look here at capitol hill, where the house is expected to vote this hour on whether to hold attorney general eric holder in contempt. keep in mind, this would be the first time ever if this happens, and it's all of that controversial fast and furious gun running operation. so we're monitoring that for you on capitol hill. but first, it is the legal finale that impacts every single one of us. the u.s. supreme court decision on the president's health care reform. two years now after the passing of the affordable care act, in the court here, a 5-4 decision,
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ruled it constitutional, including the individual mandate, that roirs every american to have health insurance. i want to go now to our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin. and i'm hearing, jessica, that you're just now learning sort of the match natichinations, what n as president obama learned the ruling himself. >> reporter: that's right, brooke. i've told by senior administration officials that the president was standing in the admiral oval office, it's called, the sort of area where his assistants sit right outside the oval office proper, watching a television screen that had four tvs on it, and he first learned by watching two tvs, fox and cnn were reporting that the individual mandate had been struck down, and so he had something, i'm told, of a quizzical look on his face, but was calm. he was with his chief of staff, jack lew, waiting to hear from his chief counsel, white house counsel, kathy romler.
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when she entered that outer oval office and informed him, gave him what was described as two thumbs up, and told him, and i'm going to look down so we get this right, she told him that the affordable care act has been upheld by the court, five justices found it valid under congress' taxing power. i'm told there's a lot of enthusiasm, the president rugged romler, and there was a lot, as you can imagine, of relief. i reported earlier that the staff in the white house subsequently said that they were elated. i'm told after that, the president later went into the oval, kathy rumler went back upstairs to her office. the the president's first call, i'm told, was to the solicitor general who argued this case before the supreme court. the man who was so widely criticized, you'll recall, for coughing during his arguments and some said he didn't do a good job, and the president said congratulations to him and thought he had always done a good job. so big victory here for the white house. the president right now still
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not yet back from walter reed, where he's visiting wounded veterans. brooke? >> jessica yellin, thank you. as the president said today, it is a victory for the american people. appreciate it. in today's health care vote, the deciding vote, really, the linchpin, the swing vote. chief justice john roberts. he voted with justices breyer, ginsberg, kagan, and sotomayor. their reasoning, the individual mandate is not just a mandate, but it's a tax, which is under congress' power. the chief justice may have actually tipped his hand a bit during oral arguments in march, so we dug up this exchange. this is between the chief justice here and the attorney representing the national federation of independent business. and you're going to hear chief justice roberts kind of scoffing at the idea that the individual mandate is not a tax. take a listen. >> the whole point of the suit is to prevent the collection of bounties. >> of taxes, mr. chief justice. >> well, prevent the collection of taxes. but the idea that the mandate is
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something separate, from whether you want to call it a penalty or a tax, just doesn't seem to make much sense. >> it's entirely separate, and let me explain to you why -- >> it's a command. the mandate is a command. >> right. >> now, if there's nothing behind the command, a sort of, or else nothing. >> cnn senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin -- >> you can call me chief -- >> i've got jessica yellin on the brain, now i'm talking to you. so toobin, i know that that was just one fraction of the oral arguments, but obviously the tax part of it, it was a subsidiary argument here, what did you make of that? >> well, it was true during the oral argument that chief justice roberts in his questions was more sympathetic than justice anthony kennedy, who most of us thought would be the swing vote in this area. what makes this so extraordinary is that not only did justice kennedy vote against the obama care law, saying it was unconstitutional, he wrote the main dissenting opinion, which
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excoriated the bill, which was an angry, unusual personal dissent by anthony kennedy. so it was quite obvious his vote was never in play and it was really up to chief justice roberts to be the only person to potentially side with the four more liberal members of the court and he did and the rest is history. >> okay, so looking forward, not looking backwards, let's look at 2014. that's when this officially comes into effect. how does this work? you talked about checking boxes. what if i do buy the health insurance versus what if i choose to on the out? what's my penalty? >> well, you know, actually, massachusetts offers a pretty good preview of how this will work nationwide, because as many people know, governor romney put in a program that is somewhat similar to the federal program. about 85% of the people have some sort of insurance already. so they simply check a box, that
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they have paid their -- that they have health insurance, end of story for them. nothing changes for them. for the remaining 15%, some of them will now buy insurance, because that's what the law is encouraging you to do. somewhere around 12, 13, maybe even 14% of those people will go buy health insurance, because that is -- there are subsidies for people who can't afford it. something like 1% of the population, if that is consistent with massachusetts, they will say, look, i'm not paying, i don't want health insurance, i'm going to live without it. they will check the other box, and they will pay some sort of penalty more not getting health insurance. that's what the court upheld today. >> okay. and you were sitting in there. can i just ask, give me a little color, give me a little play by play, when the decision was read, were there jaws on the floor? were there gasps? >> practically. it was so dramatic. it was -- i tell you, i mean, there were about 500 people, full capacity in the supreme court, the silence was the
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loudest silence i ever heard. chief justice roberts walked in, and i was struck by how sad he looked. he really looked -- he's usually very sort of gregarious. he's a midwesterner. he's usually sort of in a very positive frame of mind. his eyes were red, he was not speaking in his usual clear voice, and when he started to read the opinion, i kept wondering to myself, why does he sound so sad. and then, as we all know, he ruled in what we thought was the most important part of the case, the commerce clause case, where he said, this law was outside congress' authority under the commerce claus, and many of us thought, in the courtroom, well, that's it, the law is going to be found unconstitutional but then, i think -- then he came to the taxing power. and little by little, it became clear that he was going to uphold the law on those terms, and that frankly explained it to me. because, look, john roberts knows who appointed him. he was appointed by george w. bush.
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he is a conservative republican. he has voted the conservative line most of the time. he disappointed his closest supporters. he knew that. and i think there was some sadness in his mind. but he's a judge and he was applying the law as he saw it and that's how he -- that's how -- that's all it is. five votes, you can do anything you want. >> wow. the silence the loudest noise in the room. what an experience to be in there. >> that was a privilege, i have to say. >> yeah, thank you. make no mistake, today's supreme court decision is a victory for the president that many political watchers say will certainly help his chances for another victory come november, but the president's first response to his win in the highest court in the land when he spoke from the white house east room this morning wasn't about the politics, it was about the people. >> in doing so, they've reaffirmed a fundamental principle, that here in america, in the wealthiest nation on earth, no illness or accident
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should lead to any family's financial rule. i know there will be a lot of discussion today about the politics of all. about who won and who lost. that's how these things tend to be viewed here in washington. but that discussion completely misses the point. whatever the politics, today's decision was a victory for people all over this country. >> now, to the president's rival come november, mitt romney emphasized today one thing that came out of the ruling, the thing that the justices have interpreted one part of the president's health care reform, the individual mandate, as a tax. >> let's make clear that we understand what the court did and did not do. what the court did today was say that obama care does not violate the constitution. what they did not do was say that obama care is good law or that it's good policy. obama care was bad policy yesterday, it's bad policy today. obama care was bad law yesterday. it's bad law today.
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let me tell you why i say that. obama care raises taxes on the american people by approximately $500 billion. >> let's talk about how this is going to play out over the course of the next couple of months. chief local analyst, gloria borger. how does this play out on the trail? we all know that mitt romney in the past supported an individual mandate at the state level, when he was governor of massachusetts. do you think voters will pay much attention, though, to his past comments as they're looking ahead? >> you know, i think no more than they paid attention to it in the past. i think what this supreme court decision did today, brooke, is it essentially drew the lines, neon lines, between the parties. and everybody understands, now, that if this law is going to be changed, it's going to be changed in the congress. and, so, i would argue, one of the reasons you didn't see mitt romney look so terribly sad today, even though he disagreed with the supreme court decision, one would think, is that this
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galvanizes his base. this energizes, all those people who might have been skeptical about him, because he did have a health care mandate, in his bill, in the state of massachusetts, now they're all on mitt romney's side. so the supreme court today, in a way, did him a big political favor. >> yeah, i mean, exactly. and we've been talking about that today, and now mitt romney can use that to galvanize certainly conservatives as we look towards november. at the same time, you have president obama. he hasn't really touted this thus far, as it's been hanging in the balance of the supreme court. now we know their decision. he could now spike the football. how do you think that place out both ways? >> no, i don't think -- first of all, president obama doesn't like to spike the football and i think what you heard him say today is the message that he's going to carry is that he made the right decision, this was a signature achievement, because it helps middle class americans. in fact, all americans, by guaranteeing them health care. what we didn't hear from the
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president today, though, brooke, is the fact that the supreme court upheld the law by saying that his health insurance mandate is a tax. >> a tax. >> no politician, no politician likes to talk about tax. the president himself has said that it's a penalty, but not a tax. but the supreme court said it's a tax. having said that, he'll take the win any way he could get it. >> but couldn't this fuel the notion for many people saying, that's what the president wants to do, raise taxes. >> sure. you heard mitt romney say that, and you'll hear the white house counter with the benefits of his tax reform plan. so i think in way, it just cements each side and it makes the contest for control of the house and control of the senate that much more important. >> yep, stakes are raised. gloria borger, thank you. >> sure. and as the reaction to this historic ruling is really
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pouring in, new developments in our special coverage, including this -- make no mistake, president obama just scored a huge victory with today's health care ruling. but the republicans say this isn't over. we're going to hear from both sides. i'm brooke baldwin. the news is now. forget calling your doctor about how this ruling impacts you. cnn's sanjay gupta answers your questions, live. and for the first time in history, possibly during this show, an attorney general could be held in contempt. we're monitoring the fight on capitol hill. great shot. how did the nba become the hottest league on the planet? by building on the cisco intelligent network they're able to serve up live video, and instant replays, creating fans from berlin to beijing.
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more than half the states in the union challenged obama care. attorneys general from 26 different states argued that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and today they lost, including alan wilson, the attorney general for the state of south carolina. mr. attorney general, nice to meet you. thanks for coming on. is this just years of work, just down the drain for you now, with this ruling? >> well, brooke, i don't believe so. yes, it was a victory for the administration on a few legal points, but there was one victory that the states have, and the nifb also has, and that is we stopped congress and the administration from redefining the authority and power of congress to expand well beyond the commerce clause. they tried to extend that power, and the court said, no, you're wrong, you can't do this under the commerce clause. unfortunately, the court disagreed with the president in this way, but gave him this tax.
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now the president owns this tax going into the november election. >> i want to listen to something you you said on another cable network in march around the time of the oral arguments. >> would you have challenged it? >> i would have challenged it politically, but legally, it would have been much more difficultly for us. >> you were talking tax a moment ago, you were talking tax then. the supreme court, as u know, under article i of the constitution, says, this is a tax, and by your own reasoning we just heard, any further challenge to the law will be much more difficult, won't it? >> absolutely. i mean, the supreme court has ruled. they claim it is a tax. of course, i followed the dissent when i seem a bit perplexed when i see it as a bit remarkable, justice kennedy says it was not the purpose of a tax, but it is a tax for enforcing the mandate. and another point that the dissent highlighted, this took
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the ability to create taxes in the house and gave it to the judicia judiciary. in creating this law, they said over and over this is not a tax, and then the court came back and said it is a tax. i'm concerned about the precedent this sets for future congresses to be able to control a behavior by slapping a fee and saying it is a tax. >> do you think the democrats were cowardly for not presenting this as a tax from the get-go? >> well, you know, you can call it what you want. at the time -- >> would you call it cowardly? >> it was certainly not politically expedient. i'm not going to get into name calling, but i am going to say nobody in congress, nobody in congress was wrapping their arms around this being a tax two years ago and no one, in fact, until this thing went to court, this was a penalty. when it went to court, it became expedient and convenient for it to become a tax for legal purposes. so it's only a tax when it meets the political need or when it meets the legal need, but it is
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not a tax when it has a political consequence. so they definitely were doing some gymnastics here and word smithing to avoid the label of it being a tax until it met their needs. >> are you saying that the justices on the supreme court did the gymnastics here? >> well, i'm saying what the dissent in this decision says, i'm agreeing with justice kennedy and the three other justices when they said that it's remarkable when it's not a tax for the injunction application, but it is a tax for purposes of the mandate. >> okay. >> but the court has ruled and we're going to abide by that ruling. >> i want to look at your state quickly. insurance figures, now 930,000 people in south carolina, they don't have insurance. that's roughly 30% of your state's population, one of the highest rates in the country. do you, alan, fine those figures embarrassing? >> well, listen, i'm obviously concerned that anybody that doesn't have access to affordable health care, but when you have a federal government
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that is trying to centralize control over something that is supposed to be in the free market system and claiming that anybody that stands in your way is against people getting affordable health care, i find that very disturbing. what you're going to have happen is you're going to have health care costs skyrocket for young, healthy americans, and more specifically, south carolinians. you're going to have medicaid rolls expand with the inability of south carolina and other states to be able to meet the needs of funding those requirements. so i see a lot of problems coming in the future, and i see that number growing. and i'm very concerned about the number of people who are going to lose access to affordable health care. i mean, this is not going to have the effect that the president claims it has. >> alan wilson talking to me from columbia, south carolina, alan, thank you. at this moment, a huge debate here also in washington. this one over the fast and furious scandal. lawmakers, they're speaking out as to whether eric holder should be held in contempt of congress, would be the first time in history for an attorney general. although it is expected during this show, stay right here.
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right now, uproar on capitol hill has house republicans are pushing for contempt charges against the attorney general of the united states. all of this stems from eric holder refusing to turn over certain documents from the fast and furious weapons crackdown. i want to go straight to joe johns. he's been watching this back and forth on the hill for us. and joe, just tell me where things stand right now. >> reporter: hey. well, right now, house democratic leader nancy pelosi on the floor of the house of representatives. we've seen some of the top players in this controversy speak there on the floor. just before her was darrell issa, the chairman of the house oversight committee. this, of course, is probably the republican point man in the house of representatives on the
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investigation of operation fast and furious, that gun running operation out of arizona that created so much, so much controversy. before that, the house speaker himself, john boehner, who very much has taken up the cause of darrell issa and others. let's listen to a little bit of what he said earlier today. >> so the house oversight and government reform committee issued a lawful and narrowly tailored subpoena. we've been patient, given the justice department every opportunity to comply so that we can get to the bottom of this for the terry family. we've shown more than enough good faith, but the white house has chosen to invoke executive privilege. that leaves us no other options. the only recourse left for the house is to continue seeking the truth and to hold attorney general in contempt of congress.
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now, i don't take this matter lightly, and i would frankly hope that it would never come to this. the house's focus is on jobs and on the economy. but no justice department is above the law, and no justice department is above the constitution. >> reporter: earlier this afternoon, house democratic whip steny hoyer also talked to the crowd there in the house of representatives chamber. he urged his colleagues to just get up and walk out. that, of course, is something the congressional black caucus has now been pushing for a while. we expect a number of them o get up and leave at some point very soon, along with, we hear, some members of the hispanic caucus, the asian pacific caucus, and others. >> we'll be watching it. when that vote happens, we'll take it live. joe johns, thank you. we'll stay in washington. historic ruling here. we're going to talk to a
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republican senator from maine, olympia snowe, who is retiring because of debilitating partisanship in washington. we'll get her reaction. senator olympia snowe, next. plp blp.
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not a single republican in congress voted in favor of the affordable care act, but one of them did when it was still a bill in committee, maine senator olympia snowe. here's what she said back in 2009. >> was this bill all that i would want? far from it.
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is it all that it can be? no. but when history calls, history calls. >> senator olympia snowe joining me now live. senator, welcome. history came acalling again today with this decision, didn't it? >> it sure did. i mean, it was an unprecedented decision in many ways on an issue that has wide-ranging ramifications for all americans. >> you and i were talking at commercial break and you just kept saying, wow, what a day. can you go a little farther than that? >> well, absolutely. i mean, obviously, the decision that was rendered by the court today has huge financial implications for individuals and families and businesses across this country, and most especially for individuals and families with the penalties or the taxes the supreme court describes that would be imposed on those individuals if they do not purchase a health insurance plan. the problem is, we've never known exactly what the costs
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will be for these health insurance plans that will be available in the exchanges in 2014. and that's essentially the primary question i was asking at the time, to which i was never able to get an answer from the congressional budget a office, and frankly we shouldn't have voted on this legislation until we had the answer to that question, because of the punitive nature in the cost of this penalty that's now a tax. >> you actually did not vote for obama care when it went to the full senate, but you did vote for it in committee. why? >> i did on the premise that we would have the ability to have an open amendment process, that they would work to make it truly bipartisan, and to scale down the framework of those legislation. we needed to have a more practical approach. but what happened when it was passed out of the finance committee, and i voted for it at
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that point, to give the process a chance on the floor of the senate to become bipartisan, on an open amendment process. neither of which occurred. in addition to that, we didn't have an open amendment process. and unfortunately, the democratic majority added another 1,200 pages behind closed doors, attached it to the bill, and then we only had an up and down vote, right before christmas. so there wasn't any ability to frame it in the way that would have made much more practical incidence. >> and you voted no, ultimately. with you, senator, you're retiring at the end of your term, and you cited debilitating partisanship in washington as one of the reasons. isn't this an example, with mitt romney saying repeal, repeal, repeal, isn't that the perfect example of partisan behavior? >> i think that ultimately, on both sides, they're going to have to come together to figure it out. there are so many remaining questions and problems with the associated law, even before the
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supreme court decision. one is the true cost of the law. we should have a re-estimate, which i'll request from the congressional budget office, based on the court's decision today, because you have 17 million more americans now that have to be going some place to get health insurance under the law. and also secondly -- yes, go ahead. >> i just want to ask, forgive me, but do democrats, do you think, should they have presented the individual mandate as a tax from the get-go? do you think that their intentions here were at all dishonest? would yo go that far? >> well, i wouldn't say that, but i would say this. whether it's a penalty or a tax, it's all one in the same. it's coming out of somebody's hard-earned money in their pocketbooks. and that's the point. so in some ways, to me, it's a distinction without a difference. they have to pay for it. and it's a hard, fast penalty that's going to be very expensive to a lot of people. and one other thing, brooke, in all of this, when i talk about the cost of those health insurance plans and the exchanges, those standards are
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much more generation and much higher than are currently available. so people are going to be required to buy the bronze plan at the very minimum. otherwise, they could face a penalty. so if you have a health insurance plan, if it doesn't meet that standard, you could still pay a penalty. >> right, we've been talking about the penalty issues, starting in 2014. senator olympia snowe, a pleasure. thank you very much for taking the time. >> thank you. >> and i know a lot of you have questions here about the supreme court ruling on healthcare. dr. sanjay gupta will join me next with some answers.
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president obama called the health care decision a, quote, victory for people all over this country. so let's go to the people and get their questions. and i know you have a lot of them. chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta been fielding these left and right. let's begin with frances on twitter. frances asked, "my concern is folks like me who are unemployed and would rather keep the lights on versus paying for health care or paying the fine for not having it." well, you know, this is a common question, a common concern. the first thing i'd say to frances, and i'm sure frances probably thought about this already, which is depending on how much money he makes, he may qualify for tax credits or medicaid. but his question specifically is about the penalties, it sounds like, and this is an important point. the way this works is you have to buy health care insurance, and if you don't buy it, you can afford it and don't buy it, you pay penalty.
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in the first year, just to give you some context, the penalty is $95 for an adult, for a single-person family, up to $285 for a family of four, or 1% of your income, whichever is greater. it's not a significant penalty, in absolute dollar amounts. my the year 2016, it goes up, so frances, up to $2,085 for a family, or 2.5% of your income. so that gives you some idea ofb. buy health care insurance or pay those penalties. and i asked of a few people who are crafting this policy, i don't think anyone's going to go to jail for not paying this, but that's going to be the penalty that you're going to be incurring if you don't buy this. >> all right, let me move to another question from jaleel. he tells us he is married with children, currently on medicaid. here's his question. "how will this decision affect my access to medicaid?"
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>> you know, if you're currently on medicaid, it really should not impact his access. what we're learning is that as part of this, states will expand medicaid coverage. so, for example, right now it's about 100% of poverty level, people qualify for medicaid. starting in 2014, that will go up to 133% of poverty. so for a family of four, if you're making less than $29,700 a year, you will qualify for medicaid. a couple of important points. for the first three years of many medicaid expansion, the federal government's putting in the money more that. after those first three years, a little bit unclear. that's been a point of contention as well. the state saying, what happens after that time period? who's going to pay for those extra medicaid recipients after that? and that's still a bit of a question mark. but for jaleel, for now, starting in 2014, for the first three years, if he's making less than $29,700, he'll continue to qualify for medicaid. if anything, there's going to be more people on the medicaid roster, not fewer. >> okay.
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sanjay gupta, thank you. i'm sure our viewers and tweeters thank you as well. meantime, you have heard the republican side, now the president's side. we'll ask one of the most powerful democrats in the house how this would not raise taxes on the middle class. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move
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and the next great idea could be yours. male spirit present.trong it's the priceline negotiator. >>what? >>sorry. he wants you to know about priceline's new express deals. it's a faster way to get a great hotel deal without bidding. pick one with a pool, a gym, a great guest rating. >>and save big. >>thanks negotiator. wherever you are. ya, no. he's over here. >>in the refrigerator? vindication. today we saw perhaps the biggest supreme court decision in a generation, and the democrats who passed obama care two years ago, they're on the winning side. that includes house minority
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whip, steny hoyer. congressman hoyer, welcome back. the good to see you. i know the court ruled that the individual mandate can live on as a tax. you know, democrats have presented it that way -- they could have presented it that way if t from the get-go, but the word "tax" i know is political poison. would you say it was a bit cowardly, sir, to push obama care as a commerce issue rather than just call it a tax? >> look, brooke, this is an inside the ballpark argument, if you will. the fact of the matter is what the supreme court said today was the health care bill is constitutional. and therefore, americans are going to have greater confidence that they're going to have access to affordable quality health care. seniors are going to have prescription drugs they can afford, 26-year-olds or up to 26 will have insurance that they can rely on through their family if they're not employed and have their own insurance, that it won't be lifetime caps on policies.
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and then insurance companies won't be in charge of their right to get insurance, notwithstanding a pre-existing condition. so -- >> but congressman, if i may, just going back to the question, do you think that your party did the nation a disservice by just not labeling -- >> absolutely not. >> absolutely not. >> we put forth the program, which by the way was very, very similar to the program put forth by mr. romney in massachusetts, in terms of how it was fashioned. so we put forth a program. that program obviously was somewhat controversial. we believe it will be to the benefit of the american people and to our country generally. and that bill has now been found to be constitutional by the supreme court the united states. >> i want to play just a little something. this is president obama, this is what he said in 2009 about all of this. >> for us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. what it's saying is that we're not going to have other people
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carrying your burdens for you, anymore the fact that right now everybody in america, just about, has to get auto insurance. nobody considers that a tax increase. >> so the president's words, absolutely not a tax increase. you know the deal today, individual mandate, per the nation's highest court, a tax increase. that contradicts everything we just heard the president say, does it not, congressman? >> look, come on, brooke. >> i mean, does it or not? >> this is the republican argument that you're making. the republicans are grasping at straws. they thought this bill was unconstitutional. they were confident the supreme court would find it unconstitutional. in fact, the supreme court has found it constitutional. and in fact, of course, people don't consider the fact that they have to have auto insurance as a tax. that's what the president was saying. and i think the president was absolutely correct. what he was saying is people need to take the responsibility so that the rest of us are not the ones paying for them. you know, my republican colleagues are always talking about personal responsibility.
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i think they're right. i think each of us needs to take personali personal responsibility. we need to spread the risk. we have 30 million americans who will be involved in the health insurance program that won't be on our dime if, in fact, they get sick and have to go to the hospital and have no insurance and can't pay for it. that's what the president was saying. i think he's right on that. but to supreme court said the bill we passed to provide affordable health care to all americans is constitutional. >> congressman, i've got to stay on this tax issue and ask the tough questions. and the next one really is. the president also said he would not raise taxes on the middle class. he said that so many times, but the supreme court made it clear today, this is a tax increase and the middle class is going to get hit with it, at least those who, you know, don't check the box, those who opt out of the insurance, they will be penalized. didn't the president break his promise here? >> brooke, i don't think the
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president broke his promise, no matter how many times you want to ask me that question. >> i'm going to keep asking it sir. >> well, you keep asking it, brooke. but the fact of the matter is, just as we require people -- this was the president's point. just as we require them to have car insurance, so we will spread the risk and not be at risk of having people who damage us who don't have the ability to compensate us for that damage, in the same vein as mitt romney did in massachusetts and we did here in washington, was to say to people, you've got to have health insurance. and look, if you can't afford health insurance, we'll help you pay for it. and by the way, if you're not going to take personal responsibility for it, you're going to have to contribute to the insurance pool as well. and to the dollars that we're going to have to have available for health care in this country. so, you can keep asking it, and yes, i understand that the -- i'm not sure the majority, i haven't read all the opinions, put their peg on that, their hat
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on that peg, but the fact of the matter is, they held it constitutional nal constitutional. now, when you say they sell it as our taxing authority, i understand that's what justice roberts said in his opinion. >> that's correct. >> but the fact of the matter is, the president was accurate in saying, you've got to have car insurance if you're going to drive and you need to have health insurance, because we know you're going to get sick and you need to participate -- >> and you are correct, this is the law of the land from the u.s. supreme court, the big ruling today. congressman steny hoyer, thank you. >> thank you, brooke. >> and this health care decision means a lot to moms and dads across this country. when mom is julie walters, her daughter's life depends on this supreme court ruling. we'll get her reaction, next. ♪ rocky, rocky mountain high ♪ ♪ all my exes live in texas ♪ ♪ born on the bayou
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a little girl stops breathing up to 30 times a day. her name is violet. she is just three years old. today the supreme court ruling will let them keep up their medical care. we have her mom on the phone, but i want to get to you elizabeth cohen. you told us her story back in march. remind us what the story was. >> violet has epilepsy and her care is extremely expensive because she often has long costly hospitalizations. and even at the age of 3, she's not too far from running up her life-time limit. >> at 3? >> well, probably wouldn't be until she's 5 or older, but
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certainly in her childhood she could very likely run up her lifetime limit. and no insurance company would agree to take her on because she's so expensive. with obama care, she doesn't have to worry about that because insurance companies will have to take her. >> julie walters, you are on the phone. i'm sure you are elated over the news today -- or you're live, i'm told. there you are. i'm sure you're thrilled with this historic announcement. i have to ask, had they not ruled in the way which they did, what was your plan b? >> we didn't have a plan b. i'm sure she could probably get some sort of state funded something or we would be so far in medical bills that we would qualify, you know, i guess whatever they give you if you can't afford anything. basically we didn't have one except for probably bankruptcy, eventually. >> wow. okay. so you kind of held your breath and you got what you wanted.
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i want to press you on something i talked to, a solicitor general in south carolina not at all thrilled about this. he said it's not about health care. this is about constitutionality. he used this analogy, if a kid needs a heart transplant but he can't afford it, he could rob a store to pay for it. so intentions, they're good, but it's still illegal. what are your thoughts on that comparison? >> well, i guess he didn't hear what the supreme court said today. i mean, he said it's constitutional. so that makes his point not really a point, right? >> null and void you say. elizabeth, do you have anything to add? >> i was just curious, julie, when you first heard the news, what emotions did you experience? >> we were so excited. of course i had some tears of joy. we were so excited in our living room that violet thought something really exciting was happening and she started going "happy holidays." we were like literally jumping
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this morning because we really thought it was going to go the other way. so we were just relieved. and our living room was a miniparty this morning. >> happy holidays to violet, julie walters, thank you very much. elizabeth cohen, thanks for bringing us the story. appreciate it both. how does this ruling impact the high profile debate between president obama and mitt romney? we'll speak live with doug brinkly about what this means for november. that's next. [ male announcer ] trophies and awards lift you up. but they can also hold you back. unless you ask, what's next? [ zapping ] [ clang ] this is the next level of performance. the next level of innovation. the next rx. the all-new f sport. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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the teacher that comes to mind for me is my high school math teacher, dr. gilmore. i mean he could teach. he was there for us, even if we needed him in college. you could call him, you had his phone number. he was just focused on making sure we were gonna be successful. he would never give up on any of us.
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what a day. i know you've been watching. you know that the supreme court ruled that the president's health care law is constitutional. but that doesn't come close to ending this whole fight over obama care. the back and forth and what to do about the health care system that doesn't work, i know for a lot of people it simply shifts now from the courtroom to the campaign trail. doug brinkley and a presidential historian back with us today. doug, looking ahead, how does this topic -- how does health care, obama care, how does it play into the election and specifically the debates between president obama and mitt romney? >> well, today president obama got a lot of momentum. and in politics the big moe is everything. june looked like a romney month. and now the president is ending this month with the wind in his
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sail. sort of buried the holder contempt story today. nobody in the media's really talking about it. so for barack obama this was big. in fact, he was calling it the affordable care act for so long he may actually want to embrace obama care and get out there and say, yes, like violet you just had on your show. that's who i'm helping right now. mitt romney is staked out that he's dissenting with the supreme court decision. and i think it's going to be one of the more brutal debates this year is re-arguing this health care debate. there's so many tentacles and loose parts that it will drag on with us all the way to next year. >> the debates will be fun to watch. that's for sure. the crux of this legislation, the individual mandate upheld today by the court. i want to play a little sound from the president and the presidential candidate at the time what he had to say about these mandates. >> senator clinton says i'm going to make universal health care by mandating that everybody buy it. but if people can't afford it,
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it doesn't matter what the mandate is, they're not going to buy it. >> well, he changed his mind, didn't he? weren't they originally put forth by republicans, certain republican trying to stop "hillary care"? >> yes. this is like a tennis ball going all over the net all over the place. i don't think americans fully understand what's occurred today. very few people have really read this report. but what you've got here is president obama has a massive political victory. he was about to be clubbed really. this was almost d-day for him. i think president obama is now in a very good stead to say i passed the affordable care act or it's been proven constitutional, i got osama bin laden and i saved general motors. he has three real historic accomplishments to present on a week when he's seeming to be ahead in the key swing states. >> 30 seconds, doug. the president talked about this is a day we're going to look back 10, 20 years from now,
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you're the presidential historian, how will history look back on today? >> oh, as -- i think it will be supreme court justice roberts' made his name -- etched his name in history now. many people thought since bush